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Thread: conditional if

  1. #1
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    Question conditional if

    According to the textbook, the follwoing sentence talks about a possible situation , which i don't agree because the structure of the sentence indicates it belongs to the second condtional, which means unlikely situation. what do you think?

    If he had no money, he would sometimes sleep in the situation.

    Another questions is about the tense about if clause. for example,
    If i can use the phone,i will get a taxi or
    If i could use the phone, i will get a taxi

    If I cooked, he will eat it or
    If i have cooked, he will eat it

    If you smoke heavily, the risk will be higher
    If you smoke heavily, the risk is higher

    which one is right and why?

  2. #2
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    Re: conditional if

    Hi,

    If he had no money, he would sometimes sleep in the situation. (this means actually, he does not have money and he does not sometimes sleep in the situation)

    If i can use the phone,i will get a taxi or
    If i could use the phone, i will get a taxi

    ==> both of them are correct (they are used to ask for permission to use the phone)

    If I cooked, he will eat it or
    If i have cooked, he will eat it

    ==> I think I'd say If I cooked. . .

    If you smoke heavily, the risk will be higher
    If you smoke heavily, the risk is higher
    => Both are right. We use the second one if we believe the fact the the risk is higher is always true.

    There are 5 types of conditional clause
    1- Real in the present/future (If clause: present , Main clause: will+verb)
    2- Unreal in the present (if clause: past subjuctive, main clause: conditional simple or conditional continuous (would+verb/would be +present participle))
    3- Unreal in the past (if clause : present perfet, main clause: conditional perfect or conditional perfect continuous (would have + past participle or would have + been + present participle))
    4- Mixed (if clause : if clause of Type 3, main clause: main clause of Type 2 e. g If I had eaten breakfast this morning, I would not be hungry now)
    5- Formula (something always true) (If clause : present simple, main clause: present simple)

  3. #3
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Re: conditional if

    Hello Bosun

    Your first sentence is interesting, since it's almost ambiguous. Here's a slightly revised version:

    1. If he had no money, he would sleep in the subway.

    This has two possible meanings:

    1a. When he had no money, he used to sleep in the subway.

    — this version deals with past reality.

    1b. If it were to happen that he had no money, he would sleep in the subway.

    — this version is indeed a type 2 conditional. It deals with a conjecture about how he would behave in a given situation.

    The type 2 conditional doesn't always deal with an unlikely situation. For instance, we can use a type 2 to give advice:

    2. "Is this the right road for London?" "Yes, it is. But if you took that road over there, you would get there much sooner."

    Here, it is very likely that the car-driver will take "that road over there".

    MrP

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